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Leedles' Top 10 and Bottom 5 Movies of 2018 (halfway point of the year)

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I have a set list of my yearly count so far (which is currently at 85).  And I'm gonna do a countdown where I eventually list all of them and do full write ups for what I think is my top 10 best and top 5 worst of the year so far.  I'll do this again at the end of the year too and compare what I have in my top 10/bottom 5 now and see which films still managed to stay there and which films were dethroned.

I'll try to have my first write-up in a bit, but for now let me reveal my #80-75 picks.

 

80. Winchester - there isn't much to say here other than this movie is kind of really fucking boring.  It's such a cool concept for a horror film too, but all the film seems to be set on doing is boring the shit out of you and making sure Helen Mirren is given nothing to work with.

79. Proud Mary - another wasted concept that's nothing but a colossal bore!  There is hardly any action in here despite having the label as an action film; most of it comes in during the last 5 minutes of the movie.  Everything else before then is dull as shit.  I'm so glad that we can have a movie that promises Taraji Henson being a badass and have her be a badass for about 6% of the film's runtime.

78. Life of the Party - a painfully unfunny movie.  There are jokes in this film that go on for 4 minutes long, continuously, and they're jokes that never started off as being funny in the first place.  McCarthy should just keep working with Paul Feig, or anyone who can make a movie that showcases her talents far better.

77. Mute - I noped the fuck out of this movie the moment they decided having a fucking PEDOPHILIA subplot was a good idea.  It's not as bad as Warcraft, but damn Duncan Jones sure as hell tries to make it be.

76. I Feel Pretty - Amy Schumer isn't ugly.  I get that this is her shtick, but she really isn't.  She's the very definition of "Hollywood ugly," where she's an average/okay looking woman that Hollywood thinks is ugly just because she doesn't look like Scarlett Johansson or Jessica Alba.  On top of this, the movie isn't funny at all.  It's nearly painful to sit through.

75. Rampage - the most boring movie that could've been made from the awesome concept this movie had.  The movie opens with a 10 minute Gravity/Life/whatever ripoff, then proceeds to launch into half-assed, hackneyed set-up, which presents the idea of giant gorillas/wolves in the most boring ways possible.  Then when you think this movie is about to get good, they launch into a second act that SOLELY consists of exposition.  By the time they finally get around to the actual monster fighting, I stopped giving a shit.  What a mess.

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I discussed this with you already, but Rampage is exactly what I’m looking for in a cheesy action movie.  Any movie where it has a gigantic gorilla giving the middle finger is fucking fantastic.  Plus The Rock will always be charismatic enough to keep my attention even in the most half-assed of movies.

Haven’t seen almost all of this list (so far) otherwise, but I do agree that Winchester is a fucking bore.

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#5 Worst

Spoiler

Look, I'm glad that Clint Eastwood is still working.  Dude's nearly 90 and is still churning out films like it's nothing.  But can he, at the very least, make sure that he stops subjecting us to crap like this?

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This movie was rushed into production, rushed to release, and rushed while they were filming it.  Everything about how rushed it is shows.  Not only is there very little here to drive the film forward (the film is only 85 minutes, and it can barely even fill that time with anything worth watching), but it's also so poorly acted, so poorly made in every respect that it's hard to believe that this is an Oscar-winning director's 36th movie.  It feels like a 16-year-old's first attempt at making a film.

I didn't expect the real people who were playing themselves to give in good performances, so I cut them some slack.  However, even the established actors who come in for brief supporting roles all fucking BOMB.  Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer, Tony Hale, fucking hilaryfan80 Urkel for some reason, none of them actually give a shit.  They show up for a few minutes each and seem to want to be doing literally anything else, each of them delivering half-assed, stilted performances.  It's hard to blame them because they've all been proven that they are capable of providing strong work in films.  I chalk this up to Eastwood, who apparently didn't give a shit and probably just wanted to finish this film as soon as possible.

I think Eastwood himself knew they couldn't act, so instead of giving them scenes of character development or anything of worth, we get a whole 25-minute segment dedicated to...their vacation in Europe.  This movie becomes a travel guide solely because they had no idea what to do with people who had so little experience.  I'm sure they had a lot of fun, getting to relive their vacation, but I don't want to watch you see shit in Europe.  I came here to watch a movie, not be sold on going to Amsterdam (Fault in Our Stars already convinced me on that anyway).

Once we get into the actual attack on the train, everything is so poorly staged that something that should be a serious matter turns into a scene that becomes fucking hilarious.  The dialogue that leads up to the scene is laughably bad ("loook at the baby soda spencer!!!! ALEK SHUT THE HECK UP"), and then the scene itself devolves into them writhing around and, very unconvincingly, stopping the terrorist.  Nothing feels real.  Eastwood clearly stopped giving a shit by that point.

I know Eastwood really enjoys making these true story movies, but it's inexplicable how he went from Sully, which was a pretty strong effort and had much better pacing and was able to fill in the non-plane landing scenes with scenes that meant something, to this.  I wasn't hot on American Sniper at all (yay let's glorify a murderer), but you can tell he was at least trying there.  With this?  You can tell he doesn't want to be there.  He wants to get this done and get it released and cares zero about making a compelling, well-done movie.  It's inexcusable that something this poorly made was put into theaters, let alone directed by someone with this much clout.  It's a great story, but it's something that needed better treatment than a first act stuffed with pro-military propaganda, a 25-minute vacation scene, and then maybe 5 minutes of the actual event that spurred this movie's existence.

 

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more reveals:

 

74. 12 Strong - lol

73. Death Wish - I always enjoy myself a good vigilante movie, but I tend to not be a fan of NRA ads that glorify guns in borderline dangerous ways.  Bruce Willis gives a shit for once, but it's not enough to save this wretched, hateful movie.

72. Sherlock Gnomes - it's just boring.  There's no special badness here.  I didn't give a shit.  Nothing happens.  It exists.

71. 6 Balloons - a film that starts with promise that's ultimately too dull and heavy-handed to really make an impact.  I applaud it for trying something new in terms of its execution, but most of it is way too obvious and the character's aren't given strong enough development for it to really work.

70. Den of Thieves - I don't have much to say about this, but the final shootout is pretty cool and the rest is boring to me.  Can definitely see others digging it, but it's too overlong for it to become trashy fun to me.

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#4 Worst

Spoiler

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I'm gonna be completely honest: I wish I remembered enough about this movie to talk about it.  But I don't.  It's cheaply made.  It's boring and has a horribly shitty ending.  You give a shit about no one.  Don't waste your time.  So instead, let's talk about Netflix's current strategy.

Netflix seems to run by the concept of quantity over quality.  While I'm sure this looks fine from a business perspective (invest money in films, give complete creative control, dump it on streaming service, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't, but in the end enough people watch it for them to make money), I'm fucking tired of it.  While they do manage to acquire the occasional decent little film every now and then, them pouring an incessant amount of money into pure drivel for the sole purpose of "hey, maybe someone will like this" has become tiresome.

And the worst part is: they know they can continue doing this.  No one is going to cancel their subscription because they watched the Open House's or Mute's or The Do-Over's or To the Bone's of this world.  Don't even get me started on Bright, which might represent a low point for all of big budget filmmaking in general.   Even some of their more "mature" fare has mixed results.  While Okja and Mudbound are both excellent films that represent what can happen when an auteuristic director with a vision is given complete creative control, they do release something like First They Killed My Father every now and then (which turns a complex, interesting subject into a boring, ponderous affair (sorry, Angelina Jolie can't direct)).  I'll get into my thoughts on this year's releases a little bit later because I don't want to spoil anything.

Each shitty film that the consumer watches on Netflix won't change anything.  Netflix still has a giant assortment of films and TV shows.  You'd have to be a moron to cancel it with all the content they have.  And Netflix knows this.  Each time a film like this is put onto the platform, they don't care.  And that's the biggest problem for me: If one of the most potentially powerful innovators in the modern film landscape doesn't give a shit, then what are we supposed to do?  Netflix could be using their methodology of complete creative control to fantastic effect.  They could become like A24, which has quickly become a go-to destination for up and coming filmmakers with strong ideas.  But in addition to them being content to churn out mid-level genre fare over anything with real qualities to it, they also refuse to give films theatrical exhibition.  Martin Scorsese's The Irishman will never be watched in theaters.  Have fun when its primary audience becomes edgy 14 year olds who watch it on their iPhone, alternating between that, their porn tabs, and playing shitty mobile games.

 

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69. Netflix Original™ Come Sunday - it has a strong central performance, but ultimately the film is too inoffensive and safe to truly leave a mark.  Another prime example of a film with a good concept that becomes unfortunately dull.  And of course it's a Netflix original lmao.

68. Breaking In - Gabrielle Union deserved a better home invasion thriller.

67. A Wrinkle in Time - wanted to like this one a lot more than I did.  Some stuff in here is auteuristic, risk-taking, and weird and I liked that stuff.  Most of everything in-between makes it into a boring, half-assed kids film that will probably play on Disney Channel 5 times a year.

66. Netflix Original™ Seth Rogen's Hilarity for Charity - debatably a movie rather than it is a stand-up special, but I count stand-up specials as movies so deal with it.  Most of the comedians here bomb.  A few good bits can't really save it.  It's for a good cause though and I donated, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

65. Sicario: Day of the Soldado - one of the most tense, expertly crafted thrillers of 2015 becomes a boring, dull affair that reeks of Blunt's, Villeneuve's, and Deakins' absence.  The violence is well-directed and some scenes are appropriately shocking, but it strips away the interesting, divisive politics of the first one in favor of a "let's kill all the Mexicans" attitude.  There's no straight (wo)man in this scenario, it's just muscular dudes shooting shit for the sake of it.  Pretty much Right Wing Toxic Masculinity: The Movie.

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yeah so this list was made before I saw it but I just wanna say that

 

MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN WOULD BE IN MY TOP 10 OF THE YEAR

thank you for understanding.  i'll have another writeup later today.

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